Tennessean highlights music program featuring NewSouth’s Frye Gaillard, Davis Raines, Pamela Jackson and othersThursday, October 23rd, 2014 by Lisa Harrison
In a recent features story, The Tennessean‘s Peter Cooper calls Frye Gaillard’s Watermelon Wine “the first great and inspiring book I ever read about Nashville music-makers.” Evidently, our NewSouth author found inspiration in his own work too, as he’s now writing songs and touring with his favorite Nashville singer-songwriters who perform them. The program is titled “Watermelon Wine and the Poetry of Southern Music.” Frye reads passages from from his book, sometimes in the company of NewSouth author Rheta Grimsley Johnson, who reads from her memoir about Hank Williams, Hank Hung the Moon. They are joined by Davis Raines, Pamela Jackson, and Anne E. DeChant.
In the article, Gaillard recalls first meeting Raines and Jackson and his admiration for their talents. The author-turned-lyricist notes: “I don’t find [songwriting] easy,” he says. “There’s the challenge of saying a lot in a small space, and making it rhyme. Having done it now, I’m more amazed at people who have done it really well, over an extended period of time.”
Raines and Jackson are both inspired by Gaillard’s gifts as a chronicler of Southern history, from the Civl War through the civil rights era. They credit him for his poetic lyrics, which describe human resilience in the face of social and economic hardship.
Frye Gaillard and friends continue to take “Watermelon Wine and the Poetry of Southern Music” to venues throughout the Southeast, stopping at public libraries, coffee houses, and universities, too — Belmont University in Nashville, most recently. Always they play to an appreciate audience.